Promotion types and consumer trends

restaurant promotions that work in real word


Without a doubt, these are restaurant promotions that work in real world. The latest consumer trend reports show that:

  • 63% of consumers say half-off specials can influence them to visit specific foodservice locations
  • 35% of consumers use internet deal sites to find food and beverage deals and 71% do so at least once a month

However, many restaurant owners hate doing discounts. And with good reasons. Discounts eat into their margins and once you get down this road, it may be hard to stop. If you do this too often, on a long term you risk training your customers to purchase only with discounts and be perceived as a cheap, low quality service.

Buy one get one free

Or buy two and get the third one free. Pretty Similar. This is another classic type of promo.

  • 63% of consumers say buy-one-get-one-free deals can influence them to visit specific foodservice locations

This one goes well with food items that can be offered with low costs together, like appetizers or pasta dishes.


Combos go hand in hand with the fast food concept. But recently, more and more restaurants have adopted this approach, especially for creating lunch menus.

  • 55% of consumers strongly agree that they are more likely to order soup as a combo meal than as a single item

The most appreciated combos are those where you allow your clients to pick the items for themselves. Like “any soup/appetizers plus any main dish plus any dessert”. If you need to pre-define your combos, build them considering the most popular dishes.

Value Meal bundles

Here we go beyond the classic cheeseburger plus fries plus drink combo. Think of family bundles, menu for two, beer plus hot wings night and so on. Whatever bundles bring value to your customers and does not kill your profit. Besides the obvious advantages for you and your clients, bundles can be a good opportunity to make your clients try something new from your menu.

  • 48% of consumers say a coupon or other deal can encourage them to try a new restaurant

So how do you make the promotions work? How do you increase sales, remain profitable and avoid being perceived as a cheap option? Read in our next article how to make the best of your promotions.